For the second straight week, rap not only tops the U.S. album charts, but also makes a hat-trick of the top three spots, continuing a solid few weeks for the genre after a quiet start.
This time, it’s Wale who takes the cake, scoring the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with his third studio album, The Gifted.
The Gifted is the D.C. rapper’s first No. 1 album, selling 158,000 in its debut week, according to data from Nielsen SoundScan. His previous best was a No. 2 debut for 2011′s Ambition, while debut album Attention Deficit peaked at No. 21. That said, The Gifted doesn’t eclipse Ambition in first-week sales; the latter sold 164,000 in November 2011, beat out only by Justin Bieber’s Mistletoe.
Sales of The Gifted were supported by lead single “Bad” featuring Tiara Thomas, his highest-ranking single on the Hot 100 to date with a No. 21 peak so far. The song has also found the top five on the Billboard’s R&B and Rap charts, though it has yet to unseat Ambition‘s “Lotus Flower Bomb,” which hit No. 1 on the R&B chart.
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